Crossing Into Brooklyn

New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age

Crossing Into Brooklyn

She knows what her parents have told her.
Now she wants the truth.

At sixteen, Morgan Lindstrum has the life every girl dreams of—at least that’s how it appears. A privileged only child, she has everything she could ever want, except her parents’ attention. A Princeton physicist and a high-powered executive, they barely have time for each other, much less for Morgan. When her beloved grandfather dies, depriving Morgan of the only steadfast person in her life, she forces her way into her mother’s secret past and learns he was never her grandfather at all. To find out the truth about her family, Morgan makes her way to Brooklyn, where she meets Terence Mulvaney, the Irish immigrant father whom her mother disowned. Morgan wants answers, but instead of satisfying her curiosity, Mulvaney shows her the people in his condemned tenement building, who are suffering and have nowhere to go. He challenges her to help them by tearing away the veil of shame and showing her wealthy parents and her advantaged circle of friends a world they don’t want to know about. The temptation to walk away from this ugly reality, as her mother did, is strong. But if she does, can Morgan ever really leave behind what she learned when she crossed into Brooklyn?

Praise for Crossing Into Brooklyn

Crossing Into Brooklyn is a heart-wrenching story that focuses on complex relationships. McGuigan crafts the kind of characters you struggle to embrace because they are mysterious, shallow or downright difficult. To connect with them, you must dig deep and honestly reflect on yourself. This is a book that challenges you to remember that your perspective is only one piece of the puzzle.”


Brilliantly realistic. Readers who thirst for stories that contain all the grit, messiness, angst, and hope of humanity should pick this one up immediately. Perfect for readers who seek very realistic young adult novels, Crossing Into Brooklyn will break hearts … but leave just the right amount of hope to keep going.”

                         —YA Books Central

Morgan’s tenacity is admirable and the author succeeds in relaying Morgan’s discomfort and fear when confronting poverty. Good for fans of realistic fiction.”

School Library Journal

Crossing Into Brooklyn is a story about identity and the role family plays in shaping it. McGuigan expertly weaves in heavy topics such as privilege, poverty, and abuse. Written in an accessible manner, this coming-of-age novel will appeal to teens who like characters with complex motivations.”

VOYA Magazine

Read an Excerpt


About the Authormary-ann-photo

Mary Ann McGuigan is the author of four novels for young adults. Her writing has garnered recognition from the Junior Library Guild and the National Book Foundation, among others, and she served on the panel of judges for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her short fiction and essays, mainly for adults, appear in newspapers and literary journals.